Universities are the windows for a society to knowledge as well as the platforms where they meet the world of science, culture and arts. Being environments where ideas are discussed freely in the context of science and mind, universities traditionally perform three functions to take the society forward. Through education and training, they enable students to access and internalize advanced knowledge in a specific field and apply it skillfully. The research function is directed at improving the knowledge and making new discoveries. The third function is to make contributions to the society. By reflecting their experience and expertise and promoting innovation, universities support the economic, social, and cultural development of the society in which they are located.
Hamdullah Emin Pasha, whose name we carry with pride, expanded to the world to access knowledge, represented his country with dignity in many other countries, and about a century ago, he established a distinctive foundation to make his hometown an education and science center. Our institution, which is the youngest formation of such a pioneering and respected ideal, has the responsibility to take Hamdullah Emin Pasha's vision and mission further in the field of higher education. Despite its very short history as a higher education institution, it has gained an institutional identity and has made great strides in fulfilling its functions as a university. It has achieved this success with the support of its visionary administration, qualified academic and administrative staff, open minded Board of Trustee members, and the support promoted by the leading people of Alanya. As the Rector of the University, I would like to express my gratitude to those who contributed to this accomplishment and state that we are aware of our responsibility to carry the flag even further with all members of the Alanya HEP University.
Scientific and technological developments, especially those gathered speed since the last quarter of the previous century, signal out that we are entering a new era. We cannot predict where the winds of change will take us to but it is shattering all the traditional structures and institutions at an increasing momentum. Although these developments do not alter the functions of universities, they raise the need to review their structures and operations. Today, it is not the ones who sheltered against those winds but the institutions and individuals who could take advantage of the power of those winds will step forward.
In this respect, while the COVID-19 process that we are living through is warning us to become more prepared for similar global threats, it has given us the opportunity to review the traditional functioning and operation of universities, which are criticized all over the world for not answering the needs of our era, in the light of potentials of information and communication technologies. Hence, as Alanya HEP University, we initiated a study to review our strategic plan in line with “digitalization and flexibility” goals. Our digitization goal is aimed at integrating digital technologies into university functions, especially education and training, without neglecting the “human” factor. In this way, quality being the overarching objective, we will embed features such as accessibility, effectiveness, efficiency to our education system. The “flexibility” that we will gain through digitalization will bring us the ability to adapt to the changing conditions in terms of curriculum and delivery formats. This will allow us to strengthen the learner-centeredness and inclusion characteristics of our learning environment while providing a more resilient and agile structure in eliminating towards crisis situations like the current pandemic.
As Alanya HEP University, it is our main educational goal to provide our students with the most advanced competencies in the field in which they are studying, as well as the knowledge and skills that will make them successful in the world of future. In addition, we will be in a continuous effort to widen the scope of our regional and global contributions and increase their effectiveness. In this regard, I invite our students, graduates, their families, and all our stakeholders, especially public institutions and non-governmental organizations in Alanya, to share their observations and suggestions with us.
Prof.Dr. Ali Ekrem ÖZKUL